• EarthquakesL.A. showcases quake alert system

    California is earthquake country, and residents of Los Angeles can now get some critical warning, when conditions are right, after a quake has started and seismic waves are heading their way. The long-delayed system, called ShakeAlertLA, is the first of its kind in the United States.

  • National EmergencyThere is no national emergency on the border, Mr. President

    By Alex Nowrasteh

    President Trump [last week] declared a national emergency on the border to construct some portion of his promised border fence. “We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs,” President Trump said during his remarks. Lawyers will spill much ink arguing about the legalities surrounding the law and whether President Trump can declare a national emergency. Regardless of what the law ultimately means, no reasonable person can look at the southern border and agree that it rises to the level of a national emergency.

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  • GunsReducing Illinois gun violence

    Illinois could reduce the number of people killed each year by gun violence by implementing ten policies supported by available research, according to a new report. The Johns Hopkins report identifies weaknesses or gaps in current Illinois law and offers recommendations to reduce gun violence.

  • GunsAfter Aurora shooting, lawmakers revive proposal to disarm unlawful gun owners

    By Brian Freskos

    Illinois revokes thousands of gun licenses every year. But it’s rare for law enforcement to remove firearms from owners barred from having them. Legislators in Illinois are scrambling to address a gap in state law that many have blamed for allowing the gunman who killed five people in Aurora last week to keep his handgun even after he was banned from possessing firearms.

  • Munitions700,000 submunitions demilitarized by Sandia-designed robotics system

    More than 700,000 Multiple Launch Rocket System submunitions have been demilitarized since the Army started using an automated nine-robot system conceptualized, built and programmed by Sandia Lab engineers. The automated system was built for the Army’s demilitarization program that aims to dismantle obsolete ammunition and missiles.

  • Marine detectorsMarine organisms as detectors of enemy undersea activity

    Goliath grouper, black sea bass, and snapping shrimp, along with bioluminescent plankton and other microorganisms, are set to be the unlikely additions to protecting U.S. assets. Researchers are developing new types of sensor systems that detect and record the behaviors of these marine organisms and interpret them to identify, characterize, and report on the presence of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles operating in strategic waters. The incorporation of biological signals will extend the range, lifetime, and performance of undersea surveillance technologies in strategic waters.

  • VolcanoesWhich U.S. volcanoes pose a threat?

    The United States is one of Earth’s most volcanically active countries. Since 1980, there have been 120 eruptions and 52 episodes of notable volcanic unrest at 44 U.S. volcanoes. An updated USGS assessment finds that 161 U.S. volcanoes pose potential threats to American lives and property, eight fewer than in 2005. The eighteen very highest threat volcanoes are in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Thirty-nine other volcanoes are high threat, 49 are moderate, 34 are low, and 21 are very low threat.

  • Homegrown terrorismU.S. Coast Guard officer to be charged with mass terrorism plot

    Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard officer will appear in court today (Thursday), charged with plotting a massive, 2-prong attack modeled after the 2011 Anders Behring Breivik’s terrorist attack in Norway. Breivik killed eight people in Oslo as a diversion, before killing 69 teenagers in a summer camp organized by the Norwegian Social Democratic Party. Hasson compiled a hit list of liberal politicians, Supreme Court judges, and journalists – but his violent plans extended to trying to “establish a white homeland,” and using biological weapons to “kill almost every last person on Earth.”

  • ExtremismU.S. hate groups hit record number last year amid increased violence

    American hate groups had a bumper year in 2018 as a surge in black and white nationalist groups lifted their number to a new record high, the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report issued Wednesday. The increase was driven by growth in both black and white nationalist groups, the SPLC said. The number of white nationalist groups jumped from 100 to 148, while the number of black nationalist groups — typically anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ and anti-white — rose from 233 to 264. Some conservative groups have accused the SPLC of unfairly labeling them as “hate groups,” and last month, the Center for Immigration Studies sued the SPLC for “falsely designating” it as a hate group in 2016, saying the SPLC has produced no evidence that the group maligns immigrants as a class.

  • CybersecurityTop password managers have fundamental flaws

    Top password managers have fundamental flaws that expose user credentials in computer memory while locked, according to new research. Sixty Million users and 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass, and LastPass to protect data.

  • CybersecurityExpanding cybersecurity education to fill job market shortfall

    Experts say that the U.S. cyber workforce shortfall is growing. By the 2022, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals is predicted to be 1.8 million. Colleges and universities expand their cybersecurity education offerings.

  • PrivacyPutting data privacy in the hands of users

    By Rob Matheson

    In today’s world of cloud computing, users of mobile apps and web services store personal data on remote data center servers. Services often aggregate multiple users’ data across servers to gain insights on, say, consumer shopping patterns to help recommend new items to specific users, or may share data with advertisers. Traditionally, however, users haven’t had the power to restrict how their data are processed and shared. New platform acts as a gatekeeper to ensure web services adhere to a user’s custom data restrictions.

  • Infectious diseaseNew layer of medical preparedness to combat emerging infectious disease

    Researchers supporting the PREventing EMerging Pathogenic Threats PREEMPT program will model viral evolution in animal populations, quantify the probability of human pathogen emergence, and pursue proof-of-concept interventions to prevent viral spread to humans.

  • Identity maskingDisguises are surprisingly effective

    Superficial but deliberate changes in someone’s facial appearance – such as a new hairstyle or complexion - are surprisingly effective in identity deception, new research suggests.

  • Grid securityNext-generation grid security tech

    Researchers will demonstrate the effectiveness of metro-scale quantum key distribution (QKD) as a means of secure communication for the nation’s electricity suppliers. This initial milestone is part of the team’s three-year project focused on next-generation grid security.

  • Our picksUnplugging U.S. grid; DHS to overhaul data centers; fringe groups are using QAnon, and more

    ·  National Emergency jeopardizes $6 billion in funding for states

    ·  As Europe prepares to vote, Microsoft warns of Fancy Bear attacks on democratic think tanks

    ·  ‘Sometimes the old stuff is the best.’ Sen. King wants the U.S. to unplug parts of electric grid

    ·  Coast Guard officer accused of racist mass-murder plot, kept ‘hit list’ of Democrats and MSNBC hosts

    ·  Long-term effects following acute exposure to sarin nerve agent

    ·  DHS looks to overhaul data centers, move to cloud

    ·  Say WHAT? — a case of low-yield nuclear thinking

    ·  AFRICOM adds logistics hub in West Africa, hinting at an enduring U.S. presence

    ·  ATM hacking has gotten so easy, the malware’s a game

    ·  How fringe groups are using QAnon to amplify their wild messages

  • TerrorismU.S. will not take back Alabama woman who joined Islamic State

    The United States claims Hoda Muthana does not have a U.S. passport, and has no right to obtain one. A lawyer for her family argued Muthana does have that right because she was born in New Jersey.

  • ExtremismSeven MPs quit Labour over party’s failure to address 1nti-Semitism

    Seven Labour politicians have quit Britain’s main opposition party over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism and his approach to Brexit. They will sit as a new, independent group of MPs while planning their next steps in the worst Labour split for nearly 40 years.

  • Truth decayDon’t be fooled by fake images and videos online

    By Hany Farid

    Advances in artificial intelligence have made it easier to create compelling and sophisticated fake images, videos and audio recordings. Meanwhile, misinformation proliferates on social media, and a polarized public may have become accustomed to being fed news that conforms to their worldview. All contribute to a climate in which it is increasingly more difficult to believe what you see and hear online. There are some things that you can do to protect yourself from falling for a hoax. As the author of the upcoming book Fake Photos, to be published in August, I’d like to offer a few tips to protect yourself from falling for a hoax.

  • Truth decayAre Russian trolls saving measles from extinction?

    By Ron Synovitz

    Scientific researchers say Russian social-media trolls who spread discord before the 2016 U.S. presidential election may also contributed to the 2018 outbreak of measles in Europe that killed 72 people and infected more than 82,000 — mostly in Eastern and Southeastern European countries known to have been targeted by Russia-based disinformation campaigns. Experts in the United States and Europe are now working on ways to gauge the impact that Russian troll and bot campaigns have had on the spread of the disease by distributing medical misinformation and raising public doubts about vaccinations.

  • BiothreatsGain-of-function (GoF) research set to resume, and unease grows

    Gain-of-function (GoF) research involving H5N1 is set to resume – but without review comments, as the review panel has kept mum. Many scientists are worried, arguing that certain studies that aim to make pathogens more potent or more likely to spread in mammals are so risky they should be limited or even banned.

  • Climate & conflictClimate change increases potential for conflict, violence

    Images of extensive flooding or fire-ravaged communities help us see how climate change is accelerating the severity of natural disasters. The devastation is obvious, but what is not as clear is the indirect effect of these disasters, or more generally of rapid climate change, on violence and aggression.